Serenity is a plant which was apparently discovered by an apothecary named Laver Drugfix, who is known to work for LandOrder. It is not known when or where he discovered it, as he has not shared such knowledge with anyone (with the possible exception of his employers). Serenity produces a variety of orchid, from which is derived an extract of its seeds. This extract is the primary ingredient of a drug called Happiness, which was first introduced in LY 912. The drug is distributed in pill form, in bottles the label of which bear prints of a hand-drawn representation of the serenity flower; it is not known whether anyone in the world, other than Laver, has ever seen the real flowers, so presumably he is the one who drew its picture.
While Laver has not revealed the location of these flowers, he did submit an article about them to the World Science Council. It claims that, while the drug produces a euphoria not unlike intoxication, this effect may be shaken off at will, is not habit-forming, and has no discernible adverse health effects. Studies of the drug have thus far not disproved any of these claims. In spite of this, the drug was banned by the Health Department in 913.
A further interesting claim was made in Laver's article, which mentions a passage from the Book of Connor and Brigid, in which God informed them that there is a special (if seemingly arbitrary) trinity of flavors on every world He creates. Two of them, chocolate and strawberry, exist on every inhabited planet in the Universe. The third is different on every world. On Earth (a planet which was of particular interest to Connor and Brigid, which started the interest in that world for every generation of Landians to follow), He told them that third flavor was "vanilla" (which of course meant vanilla could not possibly exist naturally on any other world, including The Land). Of course, cacao plants and strawberries were immediately available in the area where Connor and Brigid lived (which eventually came to be known as First Village), as well as in many other areas around the world. But He didn't tell them where to find the plant which would produce the third Landian flavor in the trinity, nor what to call it. It was Laver's claim, in 912, that the plant which he called "serenity," was in fact that third flavor. However, the Happiness pills have no noticeable flavor at all, and while he says he's used serenity extract to flavor foods such as ice cream, as well as to produce a liqueur, he has only shared these products with a select few people, all of whom (including Laver himself) are either unwilling or unable to describe the flavor, other than to call it "mild," "sweet," and "serene" (the latter of which inspired his choice of nomenclature for the plant; though it's not known how "serenity" counts as a "flavor," those who have tasted it insist that it is so). It is not known whether any spirits have yet had a chance to taste the serenity flavoring, and so they cannot be queried as to whether it is indeed the elusive "third flavor" spoken of in the first Book of the O'Gas.
- It's said that a secondary inspiration for the name Laver gave the plant comes from a Terran prayer which includes the concept of "serenity" (sometimes called the "Serenity Prayer"). It goes, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Apparently, Laver developed Happiness in large part to help people (including himself) accept the things they cannot change.
- While it's not known how closely serenity's flavor may resemble that of vanilla, it is known that the two plants are closely related. However, there is a certain irony regarding vanilla, which is that it's known that on Earth, many people think of vanilla as a "plain" flavor, and may even refer to other plain or boring things as "vanilla." Conversely, Landians have, because of the passage in the Book of Connor and Brigid, often wondered what vanilla might be like, which on The Land has led to "vanilla" being used in slang to describe things which are seen as mysterious, exotic, even fantastical.